Surface Water Quality

​​Pollution Reports & Emergencies​

Each year, staff responds to an average of 550 stormwater pollution reports and emergencies within the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and the surrounding Towns. Examples of responses that staff may provide include: issuing environmental notices and Notices of Violation, educating individuals and business owners about pollution prevention practices, investigating reports of dead fish, strange smells or discolored water in a stream, and overseeing the containment and clean-up of contaminants from a spill.  

Staff is available to respond to pollution reports 24 hours a day, but we need residents to help alert us to pollution they may see in the community!  ​ 

There are an estimated 100,000 storm drain inlets and 5,000 miles of pipes and open streams throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. We need residents to help us spot and report pollution so we can respond and/or clean it up as quickly as possible. It's as easy as calling 3-1-1! You can also submit a report online or via the Water Watchers phone app. Please see Report A Problem to find out more about the various ways to report pollution and learn how to spot it. There are videos to help you recognize common pollution sources for stormwater and a flier about natural creek conditions that are commonly confused with pollution sources. 

When in doubt, report it! Reporting pollution and quick response are essential to prevent pollution from reaching surface water like streams and lakes and/or minimize damage once it gets there.​​